~~The Project SEARCH program is one initiative launched by the State of Michigan to promote Executive Directive 2014-1. Project SEARCH is a one-year internship for students with disabilities, ages 18-26, ready for their last year of high school and with a goal of competitive employment. The purpose is to provide both classroom training and real-life work experience to prepare students for employment following completion of the program. Nine state departments have identified internships and two additional departments have expressed an interest in hosting an intern during the 2018-2019 school year. Options, including the establishment of a Project SEARCH Worker classification, are being considered to allow for permanent placement of interns upon successful completion of the program. (Page 91) Title I
Bureau of Services for Blind Persons is working with the One Stop centers to provide services to Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) students and youth in order to allow for summer work experiences and the development of work based learning. We know that that this is an ongoing area where partnership is needed as the relationships vary in intensity across the state. (Page 92) Title IV
VR is also participating in an Office of Disability Employment Policy grant that is supporting four pilot sites in Michigan with the goal of Students with Disabilities achieving competitive integrated employment prior to exiting secondary education. The four pilot sites are utilizing a collaborative approach involving core partners where education and adult agencies (for example: Vocational Rehabilitation and Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration) provide early intervention and work experiences while the student is still in secondary education. (Page 93) Title IV
Pathways to Potential -- This human services program focuses on three critical elements: going into the community to where the individual is located, working one-on-one with families to identify and remove barriers and serve as connectors to a network of services, and engaging community partners and school personnel in efforts to help families find their pathway to success. Michigan Rehabilitation Services partners with Pathways to Potential to connect students with disabilities and their family members with disabilities to vocational rehabilitation services leading to competitive integrated employment. (Page 254) Title IV
To comply with the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act, Michigan Rehabilitation Services is collaborating with the Michigan Department of Education to update the Memorandum of Understanding. This agreement lays out how Michigan Rehabilitation Services and the Michigan Department of Education partner to provide a coordinated set of activities to facilitate a seamless transition of students with disabilities from school to competitive integrated employment.
The Memorandum of Understanding focuses on mandates for transition services described in the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004). This includes how Michigan Rehabilitation Services and the Michigan Department of Education will collaborate to fulfill mandates on behalf of students with disabilities. Key elements of the partnership are stated in the agreement and include: Authority; Purpose; Pre-Employment Transition Services Required Activities; Consultation and Technical Assistance; Transition Planning; Outreach and Identification of Students with Disabilities; Section 511 Subminimum Wage; Assurance; and Provision of Services and Reimbursement. (Page 255) Title IV
Michigan is an Employment First state and Michigan Rehabilitation Services is working closely with multiple stakeholders to improve employment outcomes for customers with disabilities. Several workgroups have formed, one of which focuses on school-to work improvement outcomes for students with disabilities. Technical assistance is being provided by TransCen, Inc. Career and Workforce Development, to implement the seamless transition model. (Page 256) Title IV
Michigan Rehabilitation Services provides Pre-Employment Transition Services to students with disabilities prior to, and after application. Approximately 30 counselors have been hired to provide Pre-Employment Transition Services prior to application.
Pre-Employment Transition Services are provided by Michigan Rehabilitation Services counselors for students who are interested in and need the program. Pre-Employment Transition Services are provided prior to application and during the stages of the vocational rehabilitation process which include: application, eligibility determination, and Individualized Plan for Employment. Transition and general counselors may serve customers meeting the definition of a student with a disability.
Michigan Rehabilitation Services coordinated with educational partners to deliver contracted Pre-Employment Transition Services through Michigan’s Centers for Independent Living. In addition, local district offices are coordinating with educational partners to develop Pre-Employment Transition Services programs to be provided by community rehabilitation organizations and other qualified vendors. (Page 256) Title IV
• Project SEARCH -Michigan currently has 16 Project Search sites impacting approximately 100 students with disabilities per year. Project SEARCH is a business-led model allowing students with disabilities in their last year of secondary education to participate in three unpaid internships at a business in their community for school credit. The goal of the program is for students to become employed at the host business or another business in the community after completion. Project SEARCH funding was an outcome of the 2013 Mental Health and Wellness Commission report recommending expansion of a minimum of 3 additional Project SEARCH sites per year. Michigan Rehabilitation Services has received dedicated Project SEARCH funds to support the expansion of new sites. The funding is used to provide technical assistance from Project SEARCH to Michigan and to provide vocational rehabilitation services.
• Post-secondary Education Rehabilitation Transition (PERT) Program -The PERT program is a one week comprehensive vocational and independent living assessment offered in a semi-structured residential environment at Michigan Career and Technical Institute for students enrolled in secondary education. In summer of 2017, 144 students with disabilities participated in the program. Students reside in dormitories, giving them the experience of independent living. After completion, students return to their local school districts where information they have learned is document in their Individualized Education Program.
This past year, the PERT program has been offered in local communities as a pilot. One benefit of making the program portable is more students can participate in the assessment process as they are not required to travel and stay on campus of Michigan Career and Technical Institute to participate.
• Pathways to Potential -This human services program focuses on three critical elements: going into the community to where the individual is located, working one-on-one with families to identify and remove barriers and serve as connectors to a network of services, and engaging community partners and school personnel in efforts to help families find their pathway to success. Michigan Rehabilitation Services partners with Pathways to Potential to connect students with disabilities and their family members with disabilities to vocational rehabilitation services leading to competitive integrated employment.
• Seamless Transition -The seamless transition model targets students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A collaborative approach is used to prepare and support students with the outcome of competitive integrated employment prior to exit from secondary education. (Page 257-258) Title IV
Michigan Rehabilitation Services provides consultation and technical assistance to Michigan Department of Education and local educational agencies to assist in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, employment-related activities, Pre-Employment Transition Services and other vocational rehabilitation. Consultation and technical assistance may include, but is not limited to, the following topics:
•Accommodations and assistive technology
•MDHHS Michigan Rehabilitation Services application, eligibility, and services
•Competitive integrated employment (Page 259) Title I
Transition planning occurs between the student/family/guardian, education staff and Michigan Rehabilitation Services staff to enhance the development of Individualized Education Programs. The Michigan Department of Education and Michigan Rehabilitation Services Memorandum of Understanding clarifies Michigan Rehabilitation Services staff will attend student Individualized Education Program meetings when invited. Educational partners are encouraged to provide advance notice, communicate and coordinate IEP meetings to ensure Michigan Rehabilitation Services staff are available to attend. (Page 260) Title IV
Transition counselors are connected to transition coordinators in each intermediate school district in the state. The counselors work in collaboration with transition coordinators, as well as other education staff, to identify students interested in pursuing competitive integrated employment who require vocational rehabilitation services. Students with disabilities are referred to Michigan Rehabilitation Services through this process.
In addition, Section 504 students are provided information about Michigan Rehabilitation Services by education staff, Michigan Rehabilitation Services marketing publications, informational meetings, and one-on-one meetings. If students are determined eligible, Michigan Rehabilitation Services works with the student and the family/guardian as appropriate to move through the rehabilitation process with the goal of competitive integrated employment. (Page 262) Title IV
Michigan Rehabilitation Services works extensively to provide Pre-Employment Transition Services and transition services for students with disabilities. Every Michigan Rehabilitation Services district has at least two assigned Pre-Employment Transition Services counselors and a Business Relations Consultant. Staff work to identify opportunities of Pre-Employment Transition Services, focusing on work-based-learning experiences, at local businesses. (Page 265) Title IV
Michigan Rehabilitation Services values the achievement of competitive integrated employment so that people with disabilities can be independent. Postsecondary education and job training beyond secondary education is critical to the achievement of independence for many people with disabilities. Through the provision of pre-employment transition services which allows for a continuum of developmental experiences, Michigan Rehabilitation Services will be able to help students (and their guardians) be better informed and prepared to choose careers. (Page 307) Title IV
Michigan Rehabilitation Services transfers customers receiving Supported Employment to extended services once stabilization has occurred. The customer is considered to have achieved stabilization when the counselor, with input from the job coach/employment specialist, employer and individual, confirms that: (1) initial intensive services identified on the IPE have resulted in the individual demonstrating acceptable job performance and (2) a reasonable expectation satisfactory job performance will be maintained with the individual based on ongoing support services being provided. (Page 316) Title IV
A BSBP Transition Specialist has been hired to assist the Transition Services Manager, field counselors and the BSBP Training Center in developing and implementing new Pre-ETS programs as well as provide Pre-ETS services to students who are visually impaired. BSBP has VR counselors and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists assigned geographically to each ISD and Local Educational Authority (LEA). The VR counselor works closely with teacher consultants for the visually impaired to identify students who would benefit from Pre-ETS and/or Vocational Rehabilitation Services through outreach and the BSBP Youth Low Vision Program. (Page 331) Title IV
BSBP will provide Pre-ETS not only to students with disabilities who have applied for vocational rehabilitation services but also to those students with disabilities who have not applied for services. If a student needs a service that goes beyond the scope of Pre-ETS and such additional service is listed on the student's approved IPE, BSBP will pay for those costs with non-reserved VR funds. If a student applies for a VR case, the Counselor establishes eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services within 60 days of the VR application being signed. The VR Counselor works with the student and parents to develop an IPE outlining the VR services necessary to assist the student in obtaining competitive integrated employment. The eligibility criteria for services must be met before plan development. The IEP, along with the IPE, are instruments that identify education, transition, and employment goals and objectives. The services outlined in the IEP are cooperatively agreed upon by the schools or educational facilities, parent/student, other relevant agencies and the rehabilitation agency; thereby establishing the objectives of the transition plan. (Pages 331-332) Title IV
Not all eligible or potentially eligible students with disabilities will require all five required pre-employment transition services, however, all should receive all needed services, as determined through informed choice and consultation with each student based on their strengths and needs and consistent with their IEP, when applicable. (Page 336) Title IV
Students who are blind or visually impaired benefit from services designed to enhance Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) outcomes by receiving work based learning, work based readiness, career exploration counseling, instruction in self advocacy and counseling on opportunities for enrollment in post-secondary education. BSBP’s assessment suggests that early intervention implementing the above services leads to stronger vocational direction and outcomes that are focused on demand driven occupations. BSBP is gathering data as the implementation of WIOA drives this early intervention in order to obtain evidence based practice to substantiate the benefit of providing these early services. BSBP aligns with IDEA by participating in the IEP process, participating and conducting person centered plans and post-secondary planning. (Page 345) Title IV
BSBP provides appropriate Pre-ETS services and/or VR services to potentially eligible students or students who are eligible as early as age 14. BSBP attends IEPs, person-centered planning meetings, consultations with school staff including transition coordinators for the purpose of providing education and training for students and families regarding the opportunities for services that can enhance CIE outcomes. The ability to provide the five Pre-Employment Transition services categories and the four coordination services along with the nine authorized categories when appropriate can create an opportunity for great success. Examples are provision of work-based learning experiences that allow students to engage with employers, including learning soft skills. Providing the opportunity to visit college, and vocational programs to understand the expectations and plan with their family and counselor how to incorporate those into their career plan. (Page 353) Title IV
BSBP transfers customers receiving Support Employment to extended services once stabilization has occurred. The customer is considered to have achieved stabilization when the counselor, with input from the job coach/employment specialist, employer and individual, confirms that: 1) initial intensive services identified on the IPE have resulted in the individual demonstrating acceptable job performance, and 2) a reasonable expectation of satisfactory job performance will be maintained with the individual based on ongoing support services being provided. (Page 359) Title IV